FORT BRAGG, N.Y. (WIVB) – A local family is trying to come to terms with loss after a young paratrooper died during a training exercise in North Carolina, but few details about her death have been released. Now Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication, is reporting Sgt. Shaina Schmigel was using the newest parachute.
The parachute was introduced to Fort Bragg in 2009 because it is designed for the bulkier load that today’s soldiers carry. Its supposed to be safer than the old kind.
Her family says Sgt. Schmigel was an outgoing, strong, funny 21-year-old woman who accomplished so much in such a short time. She graduated from Medina High School and began serving soon after. She was sent to Iraq in 2011, earning seven military honors during that tour, including the Army achievement medal.
Schmigel took a brief break after that tour before re-enlisting for another four years in October.
She had been training for a deployment overseas with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, where she would have been stationed in Italy.
Shaina’s mother, Karie, says her daughter’s death still hasn’t set in.
Karie said, “I guess I’m still kind of in shock mode. I keep thinking she’s going to call me, because we talked two to three times a week. Every Saturday we talked. Every Sunday we talked.”
The only thing officials can tell her family is that she was found dead after a night time training jump. The Army is still investigating Sgt. Schmigel’s death.